Debbie Allen

Allen in 2009, image via Featureflash /

Birth Name: Deborrah Kaye Allen

Place of Birth: Houston, Harris, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 16, 1950

Ethnicity: African-American

Debbie Allen is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, singer, songwriter, director, and producer. She was a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Her roles include Fame, Ragtime, and A Different World.

Her parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers) and Andrew Arthur Allen, were/are both black. Her father was from Lobdell, Louisiana. She is the sister of actress and singer Phylicia Rashād. Her niece is actress Condola Rashād. Debbie is married to professional basketball player Norm Nixon, with whom she has three children.

Debbie’s paternal grandfather was Lloyd James Allen (the son of Duncan Allen and Luella Brown). LLoyd was born in Texas. Duncan was the son of John Allen and Mariah Word. Luella was the daughter of William Brown and Ann Martain.

Debbie’s paternal grandmother was Goldie Matilda Jackson (the daughter of George H. Jackson and Josephine Lillian Smith). Goldie was born in Louisiana. George was the son of Felex Jackson and Matilda Lewis.

Debbie’s maternal grandfather was Robert D. Ayers, Sr. (the son of Robert Smart Ayers and Anna Douglass). Debbie’s grandfather Robert was born in South Carolina. Debbie’s great-grandfather Robert was the son of Charles Ayers, Jr. and Margaret Young. Anna was the daughter of Levi Douglass and Sallie/Sarah Parker.

Debbie’s maternal grandmother was named Vivian Graham. Vivian was born in South Carolina.

Sources: Debbie’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Debbie’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

8 Responses

  1. Jarap says:

    This site needs to do more research. This woman and her sister are clearly mixed race.

  2. xoxo says:

    She looks mixed.

  3. sashafierce564 says:


  4. aaronssongs says:

    Debbie Allen and her sister, Phylicia Rashad, and brother Andrew “Tex” Allen Jr., are French Creole, African American, English, Spanish, Native American, on their father’s side, and African American, Native American, Scottish? Irish? English? on their mother’s side.

  5. karmelleyez says:

    This site is so inaccurate. She is the full blooded sister of Phylicia Rashad yet she is AA and Creole, while her sister is just AA. They have the same parents…

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